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canard78

So There's No Archaeological Evidence For The Book Of Mormon?

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But you are convinced and the evidence remains the same.

 

I was convinced by personal revelation.  The evidence simply confirms it.

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So are you.

I explained to you what your false premise is, I presume you would do me the courtesy and explain what my false premise is. 

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But you are convinced and the evidence remains the same.

The evidence is consistent which what evidence should be like for an ancient civilization. Do you believe in Jesus Christ?

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The evidence is consistent which what evidence should be like for an ancient civilization. Do you believe in Jesus Christ?

I want to.

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I want to.

Is the obstacle to your believe a lack of archaeological evidence that he lived?

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I would say he is not saying that given this:

You're probably right but if he considers there to such a treasure trove of evidence, why spend a whole article giving examples of late discoveries of previously doubted literary claims and records?

Instead he's saying this:

1. Critics say there is no evidence for the Book of Mormon

2. Don't worry, we will, we just haven't found it yet (just like those biblical examples)

Edited by canard78

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Isn't that the way of archaeology (and most of science). They assume something doesn't exist until they find it .

Sure. So are you agreeing that none has yet been found (Book of Mormon archaeological evidence that is)?

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Within the context of this thread, I have what I believe is a very important question to ask: If powerful archaeological evidence was discovered that proved the Nephites were a real ancient American people and civilization, what do you think the consequences would be?

Then more people would be inclined to pay attention to the Book of Mormon. Would you consider that a positive or negative outcome (I have a feeling there's a bait and switch coming)?

Are you, in your question, also admitting that there actually isn't any powerful archaeological evidence that the people of the Book of Mormon ever lived?

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Within the context of this thread, I have what I believe is a very important question to ask: If powerful archaeological evidence was discovered that proved the Nephites were a real ancient American people and civilization, what do you think the consequences would be?

We can apply this to the bible. If powerful archaeological evidence was discovered that proved Noah was a real person, what would the consequence be? I would say not much. Many people would be intrigued, but most would not care. Critics would simply find something else to attack. 

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Nhm seems like a good book of Mormon city name that exists where it's supposed to when it's supposed to.

It may not convince you to believe but it is evidence and will forever make it impossible for someone to say there is no evidence.

But the only thing that will convince you is the Holy Spirit.

When is the last time you read the Book of Mormon, Jeanne?

Yep, NHM's very good. I think that's probably what's called a convergence in John Sorenson's analysis. It's not archeological evidence. That would be if a dig were done at NHM that produced evidence of Lehi's party spend time there.

Of course, the chances of artefacts from around 20 people passing through are next to '0.'

Several hundred thousand Lehites in the Americas on the other hand...

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Instead he's saying this:

1. Critics say there is no evidence for the Book of Mormon

2. Don't worry, we will, we just haven't found it yet (just like those biblical examples)

Not quite. The problem is that everyone knows that there should be archaeological evidence--especially those who have no idea what archaeological evidence looks like. Even in places where there is great basis on which to build the evidence, such as the continuing location of a Jerusalem that was never lost to history, there are specifics that have taken time to find. This in spite of a much longer period of archaeological interest in biblical lands.

 

The biggest problem I see for associating archaeology and the Book of Mormon is that people declare firm statements based on opinions of what should be found. if those opinions are wrong, the conclusions are also wrong. The biggest of the problems is the assumption that there should be clear evidence of Old World influence. That is the flip side of the coin that archaeologists fight against, which is that there must have been Old World influence because New World civilizations needed the push to advance. Neither is correct.

 

We are further hampered in the New World by a lack of old texts. The Old World is document rich. The New World is document poor--extremely poor. Most the hemisphere has no textual tradition at all, and the area with the textual tradition apparently lost most of it because they didn't start carving texts into stone until later (evidenced by the almost miraculous preservation of the San Bartolo murals which show writing much earlier than had been expected--and well developed enough to suggest that it was in wider use).

 

My personal approach has been to look at what is known of Mesoamerica and compare it to what is happening in the text of the Book of Mormon. That approach takes time periods and cultural trends to see if they match with the descriptions in the text. I find the correlations rather remarkable, including many that fit into dates for particular actions and cultural data that fit that time and place.

 

Is there archaeological evidence of the Book of Mormon? The artifacts do not clearly prove the Book of Mormon, but a comparison of the Book of Mormon to the artifactual record (and linguistic records) does find that the Book of Mormon fits comfortably into the appropriate cultural contexts at the appropriate times. That is a form of archaeological evidence, just not the one people think they are looking for.

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Is there archaeological evidence of the Book of Mormon? The artifacts do not clearly prove the Book of Mormon, but a comparison of the Book of Mormon to the artifactual record (and linguistic records) does find that the Book of Mormon fits comfortably into the appropriate cultural contexts at the appropriate times. That is a form of archaeological evidence, just not the one people think they are looking for.

I suspect that the only archaeological evidence that would arguably prove the book of mormon true would be an ancient document that can be translated and that can verify what is written in it. 

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In addition to the false premise that we should be finding artifacts that can be directly linked to the book of Mormon, another misconception is that we should expect God to provide proof in order for his gospel to be true. This standard is never applied to the bible, or course, but it is imposed on the Book of Mormon.

If Joseph translated the Book of Abraham, we should be able to point to the original scrolls and have scholars verify the translation is the argument. They fail to see how this would completely defeat the purpose of us relying on faith.

So what are we to make of the many members all over the world who declare they know "beyond a shadow of a doubt" that the church is true because they've received a witness of the Spirit? It seems to me God is "providing proof in order for his gospel to be true".

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So what are we to make of the many members all over the world who declare they know "beyond a shadow of a doubt" that the church is true because they've received a witness of the Spirit? It seems to me God is "providing proof in order for his gospel to be true".

You are confusing a spiritual witness with tangible evidence. We are here to learn and to communicate through the spirit rather than with our mortal senses. This is why we worship - to learn how to communicate through the spirit. I suspect that we must learn how to communicate in this manner because this is how we communicate in the eternities, through a pure heart and mind. 

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Is the obstacle to your believe a lack of archaeological evidence that he lived?

 

 

I get what you are saying and what you want me to say..but I believe in Einstein and he is dead..I believe that Dr. Spock lived...I BELIEVE but do not know that there was a man called Jesus..was he a great philosopher or Son of God?  There is no proof that the stories..and some conflicting are true..but his philosophy was wonderful.

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I can't wrap my head around the idea that God won't provide archeological proof because we would somehow lose the need for faith or as a need to test our faith. Let's suppose that a group of archeologists found irrefutable evidence that a group of Hebrews colonized at least a portion of the American continent around 600 B.C. Let's even suppose they found strong evidence of Christian beliefs among this group with images and Reformed Egyptian writings that described horses, cattle, steel, wheeled chariots, goats, etc. This would be quite the archeological find, in fact I suspect one of the greatest of the last century and would undoubtedly make front page news with a number of TV documentary specials.

So what are we to suspect would happen next? Would millions of people around the world rush to get baptized? Would this be a bad thing? Would existing members lose their free agency to disobey the commandments because they've been given this proof? I suspect it would bring in some baptisms, perhaps even enough to take us to .8% of the world's population (up from the current .2%). It would most certainly strengthen the testimonies of many members (once again, is that a bad thing) but they would still struggle to obey the commandments and there would still be many other issues to cause doubt. Finally, for the vast majority of the world I suspect it would have no effect at all. So why again are we not finding stronger archeoligical evidences?

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It's true that the lack of evidence does not prove that the Book of Mormon is false. It does, however, contribute to the probability of its truth value.

 

LDS apologists use the same reasoning that they acuse critics of using when pointing out that there is no DNA evidence that Joseph Smith fathered any children other than those born to Emma.

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I get what you are saying and what you want me to say..but I believe in Einstein and he is dead..I believe that Dr. Spock lived...I BELIEVE but do not know that there was a man called Jesus..was he a great philosopher or Son of God?  There is no proof that the stories..and some conflicting are true..but his philosophy was wonderful.

God is found through revelation. That is how he set up the plan. This is why we have a veil of forgetfulness. He will never be found through scientific evidence. It is by acting on faith, by trying the word of God and seeking him through prayer. If you are seeking to believe in things that can be proven through empirical evidence, then God is not someone you will come to believe in. We are saved by grace through faith. What is preventing you from trying to find him through faith?

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Then more people would be inclined to pay attention to the Book of Mormon. Would you consider that a positive or negative outcome (I have a feeling there's a bait and switch coming)?

Are you, in your question, also admitting that there actually isn't any powerful archaeological evidence that the people of the Book of Mormon ever lived?

I believe very few people would become interested in the church because most people are too wrapped up in their own way of seeing and doing things to want to make a radical change in lifestyle. Also, there are too many other things about the church that it's adversarys can point to that would likely kill off any temporary enthusiasm some might feel. Just think of all the negative things some members say about the church on this board. Do you honestly believe a dramatic and convincing archaeological discovery would change what they feel about the church? It would probably only make things worse.

Remember, nearly all of the wicked Nephites who witnessed with their own eyes the miraculous sign of the day, the night, and the day without darkness soon lost their ability to be amazed with the miracle and then turned back to their wickedness with a vengence. That's why so many ancient American cities were obliterated at the time of Christ's death: Those who were unworthy to witness the miracle remained in their state of faithless, and that faithlessness soon ripened into full-blown iniquity.

Edited by Bobbieaware

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You are confusing a spiritual witness with tangible evidence. We are here to learn and to communicate through the spirit rather than with our mortal senses. This is why we worship - to learn how to communicate through the spirit. I suspect that we must learn how to communicate in this manner because this is how we communicate in the eternities, through a pure heart and mind.

You made no qualification in your original post that only tangible proof wasn't kosher, but perhaps that was implied given the topic.

I know for those of us BIC we've been taught since we were children to rely on spiritual evidences rather than secular evidences, but have you ever thought if that actually makes logical sense (I know I hadn't for much of my life)?

If the evidence brings people to Christ why does it matter what form it comes in? Why not provide equally strong physical evidence to complement the spiritual evidence, where we could essentially have the best of both worlds? Based on the worldwide activity rate, it seems to me that relying so heavily on spiritual evidences isn't the best approach.

Edited by omni

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It's true that the lack of evidence does not prove that the Book of Mormon is false. It does, however, contribute to the probability of its truth value.

 

LDS apologists use the same reasoning that they acuse critics of using when pointing out that there is no DNA evidence that Joseph Smith fathered any children other than those born to Emma.

 

IMNSHO there is not a lack of evidence but only evidence that you do not accept.

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I can't wrap my head around the idea that God won't provide archeological proof because we would somehow lose the need for faith or as a need to test our faith. Let's suppose that a group of archeologists found irrefutable evidence that a group of Hebrews colonized at least a portion of the American continent around 600 B.C. Let's even suppose they found strong evidence of Christian beliefs among this group with images and Reformed Egyptian writings that described horses, cattle, steel, wheeled chariots, goats, etc. This would be quite the archeological find, in fact I suspect one of the greatest of the last century and would undoubtedly make front page news with a number of TV documentary specials.

So what are we to suspect would happen next? Would millions of people around the world rush to get baptized? Would this be a bad thing? Would existing members lose their free agency to disobey the commandments because they've been given this proof? I suspect it would bring in some baptisms, perhaps even enough to take us to .8% of the world's population (up from the current .2%). It would most certainly strengthen the testimonies of many members (once again, is that a bad thing) but they would still struggle to obey the commandments and there would still be many other issues to cause doubt. Finally, for the vast majority of the world I suspect it would have no effect at all. So why again are we not finding stronger archeoligical evidences?

 

we have been digging around in the middle east for decades with teams of scholars but have found no evidence of anything in the bible other than the locations of some places. I am not holding my breath that we will find evidence of profound significant for the book of mormon. Proof has never brought conversion. People who join based on empirical evidence never stick around because they failed to gain the spiritual witness. I am of the opinion that that spiritual witness is so critical to our salvation that God has organised the world in such a way that we are forced to rely on testimony. I have no doubt that the church has the golden plates in their possession along with a host of other remarkable artifacts, but God has commanded the prophet not to reveal it. Lam and Lemuel had absolute evidence of God but it did not compel them. Judas also had a personal witness. Many of the early apostles had special witnesses but still fell away. Proof does not bring testimony, and without a testimony there is no hope of receiving redemption through the atonement. 

 

We will find we have found for the bible. Shadows and implications. 

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If the evidence brings people to Christ why does it matter what form it comes in? Why not provide equally strong physical evidence to complement the spiritual evidence, where we could essentially have the best of both worlds. Based on the worldwide activity rate, it seems to me that relying so heavily on spiritual evidences isn't the best approach.

As I have stated, empirical evidence does not bring people to Christ. Only a spiritual witness does. There is ample evidence that smoking is bad but people continue to smoke. There is ample evidence that mormons are more likely to marry and have strong marriages, but people who want to have a successful marriage are not joining the church in large numbers. There is clear evidence that pornography is harmful and addictive but millions still view it. As God taught Elijah, He is not in the fire or in the earthquakes. He is in the still small voice. No matter how powerful Moses's proof was that his God was more powerful than the Egyptian God, the Hebrew's captors were unmoved. 

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As I have stated, empirical evidence does not bring people to Christ. Only a spiritual witness does.

I'm not sure what you're basing this off of, but I completely disagree. Let me be clear, I'm not saying there isn't a need for sprititual evidence, just that other forms of evidence can be just as valid. For example I'm more logically based and therefore I rely on rational, logic-based evidences for many of my decisions in life. I know many other people who are more emotionally based and spiritual experiences are the best form of evidence for them. God created us each so differently for a reason, it seems to me he would provide evidences that would best reach each one of us individually rather than a one-size-fits-all-approach. Edited by omni

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